Why Proper Nutrition Is Important for Refugees
Moving to a world that is completely different from your own comes with many challenges that some are not prepared to face. Among those challenges, you also face the battle of leaving your old life back in your country and trying to get accustomed to your new life in a new count. You hold onto traditions, foods, languages and the way of life because that is what was common to you.
The question is not to withhold yourself from common traditions, but it is now how to hold on to those traditions while also implementing some new traditions. Proper nutrition is very important for refugees , and not just to enjoy but also to be knowledgeable about what you are putting in your body and why.
Eating a proper diet consists of having protein, fat, carbohydrates (which is known as macronutrients ); and also vegetables , fruits and vitamins and minerals ( which is known as micronutrients).
Macronutrients are needed in your body at a larger amount than micronutrients, which is easy to remember based on the different words, "macro" being big, and "micro" small. Micronutrients are needed in your body at a smaller amount; this is also why eating a proper balanced diet means that you don't need excess vitamin supplements, because you are getting them from food, and its easier to absorb in your body as food than a supplement.
Based on calories, for proteins and carbohydrates, you are getting 4 calories/gram, and for fats, it is 9 calories/gram. This is mainly important to know if you are trying to cut, gain or even maintain calories. This is not a post to tell you that you should count calories, but a post to educate you if this interests you or if you are already implementing tracking calories in your diet.
St. Lukes provides an amazing resource weekly at the church, which is the food bank. The food bank helps families who are struggling with providing nutritious meals to their family. The food bank not only provides food for families, but they also provide nutrient dense foods, which means you will be getting good amount of protein, carbs, fats, fruits, and veggies from each box that is received from the food bank. This is free to everyone and it is held weekly on Thursdays :)
An example of a nutrient dense meal that I would like to give is from Mama Africa Sunday Dinner on February 5, 2023.
About Yaar Alexander
Welcome to Diving in !
My name is Yaar Alexander, and I have been a member of St. Lukes since I was four years old, and have had the privilege of growing up in this community.
I am currently a grad student at Liberty University, in their Public Health Nutrition program, and I will be taking what I have learned and applying it in a practicum internship.
St. Lukes provides food weekly through the food bank for refugees, the community of St. Lukes and those in need of food. This is a great resource to have because not only are you getting free food, but nutrient dense foods as well.
We all know and love our favorite Sudanese cultural dishes, but do you know what is inside the dishes, the nutrition behind it, and also ways to make it healthier?
This semester, my goal is to provide you with this education.
Thanks for coming along this journey with me, and stay tuned for more !
- Yaar Alexander